For half an hour there had been perfect silence in the room. The cat
upon the hearthrug slept profoundly; the fire was sunk to a still
red glow; the cold light of the autumn afternoon thickened into
Lilian seemed to be reading. She sat on a footstool, her arm resting
on the seat of a basket-chair, which supported a large open volume.
But her hand was never raised to turn a page, and it was long since
her eyes had gathered the sense of the lines on which they were
fixed. This attitude had been a favourite one with her in childhood,
and nowadays, in her long hours of solitude, she often fell into the
old habit. It was a way of inviting reverie, which was a way of
passing the time.
She stirred at length; glanced at the windows, at the fire, and